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Rob Manfred Wants To Make Playoff Expansion Permanent

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred reportedly wants to make the expanded playoff format permanent. This should surprise absolutely no one as we always knew fans would embrace their favorite team having a shot every year.

A loaded AL Central no longer gives us anxiety as the expanded playoffs gets the best teams in the dance. Dumbest thing in the world watching teams hover at 90-wins to be punished in a great division. Once baseball came up with a way to give every decent team’s fanbase hope, there was no going back.

Any adjustment Manfred can make that doesn’t come at the expense of a dollar, will get done. 16-team playoff brackets are great for local markets, players, and ownership so this was a no-brainer.

What can’t stay

2020 baseball gave Manfred a test run at plenty of rule changes for social media to chew on. Reviews on every team having a DH have been strong, but other changes should maybe stick in the regular season.

Extra inning runners on second base to start an inning is a great way to push the action, if it’s not October baseball. Saving pitchers from 17-inning games is important, but not in a tournament for all the marbles. Just some subtle adjustments we hope Manfred doesn’t screw up.

There is one problem

Expanded playoffs provide another avenue for revenue, but might that extend the power grab even further? Owners are finding new ways to build an empire that doesn’t have anything to do with an in-person fan experience. Preparing for permanent playoff expansion peaks fan interest, but could also give owners less desperation to improve where we’ve asked.

Manfred gave a quote that could be the ONLY time he’s ever seemed like a fan of the game:

“I’m a fan of the expanded playoffs. I think the initial round could have the kind of appeal you see in the early couple days in the NCAA tournament,” Manfred said.

Overall we shouldn’t be too cynical of a good thing and read too far into what they intend to do going forward. Expanded postseasons are exactly what quite a few fan bases needed to get their hearts back into the sport. Our first glimpse of the expanded playoff gets underway in a few weeks and we honestly can’t wait.

2 Comments

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  1. Hey Gary…I’ll tell ya what sounds good (only since you asked lol)…how about the 90 WIN RULE…
    90 wins and your in!!!
    You made a great point about a loaded division with several 90 win-teams and only one would make the playoffs…we’ve seen that many times.
    And this wouldn’t be NHL rules…I love the NHL but 50% make the playoffs?
    90 wins is a VERY GOOD season in MLB!!!

  2. since anyone can win in baseball, don’t cheapen the regular season. we already saw an aberration where St Louis won like 82 games then rolled to the world series about 15 years ago thanks to a weak central. the current format generally requires about 90 wins unless one division is bad. and we see exciting September races. see September races to win an 81st game, not that exciting.

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